An estimated 54.6 million Thanksgiving-goers are expected to travel this time of year for tomorrow’s annual Turkey Day.
A healthy portion of these millions who make this holiday pilgrimage will choose to travel by car. With such a hodgepodge of people all the sudden hitting the road, the days leading up to Thanksgiving are a bottleneck for traffic congestion.
And, as millions of cars enter the mix, the knights of the road—truckers—have to anxiously navigate their large rigs around excess traffic. During this peak season for travel in the U.S., the trucking industry reiterates its emphasis on shared responsibility to keep the country’s roadways safe.
ATA’s “Share the Road” program
A lead stakeholder, the American Trucking Associations (ATA) rehashed its “Share the Road” program. Introduced in 1986, the program aims to educate everyday drivers on how to share the road with commercial trucks.
“Share the Road” relies on million-mile accident-free truckers to be the stewards of the program’s message. These diligent drivers deliver safety PSAs through all forms of media to spread awareness to the public.
While the drivers’ efforts are year-round, Thanksgiving, and the surrounding holiday season, is essentially their Stanley Cup playoffs. A stern reminder to be safe is needed now more than ever and the “Share the Road” drivers recognize this.
“Given the high volume of travelers for Thanksgiving, it is important to implement safe driving measures so everyone can make it to the dinner table,” Gina Jones with Werner Enterprises told the American Journal of Transportation. “I’m delivering all the trimmings necessary for Thanksgiving. I hope my fellow motorists will consider these safe driving tips when traveling.”
Tips for safe driving
What exactly are these safe driving tips Jones is referring to? Let’s take a look. The following are emphasized by the “Share the Road” program, especially for those operating smaller passenger cars near larger commercial trucks.
- Wear your seatbelt: This age-old advice to buckle up applies to all occupants in a vehicle, by the way.
- Slow down: The chance of a crash is raised tenfold when speeding past surrounding traffic. Your vehicle is also more susceptible to whatever road conditions are present.
- Do not drive impaired: Yes, your Aunt Leslie had five glasses of Two Buck Chuck wine, but she’s in the backseat. Your hands are on the wheel. Drink responsibly so you’re attentive and can share the road with other drivers.
- Be aware of truck blind spots: For you, trucks are hard to miss. But for the trucker, smaller cars can be a challenge to keep track of as their rig has blind spots. If you can’t see the truck driver in his or her mirrors then odds are the truck driver can’t see you.
- Keep your eyes on the road: Distracted driving is a serious problem. A major cause of accidents, all it takes is a couple seconds of distraction. Please don’t text while driving.
- Do not cut in front of large trucks: You may see an occasional irate driver thrust their vehicle aggressively in front of a slow-moving truck. Frantic maneuvers like this do not sit well with truck drivers. Rigs are heavier and take longer to make a complete stop. Be sure to leave extra room for any vehicle, especially trucks, that are in front of you.
- Understand congestion patterns: With more traffic comes more accidents, so plan ahead with your trip to avoid high volumes of traffic. Thanksgiving travel is a prime example of this tip’s importance.
Another tip laid out to drivers is removing ice and snow from their vehicle. With our calendars about to flip to December, a good chunk of our country is vulnerable to winter weather.
A “Share the Road” driver Ron Round with Pottle’s Transportation emphasized preparation when it comes to dealing with these hazardous conditions. “Make sure your vehicle is prepared for extended trips. Check your wiper fluids, and antifreeze, and pack a few extra blankets…in case of emergency.”
Ditto, from our experts at Commerce Express Inc., who are right now in midst of another Minnesota winter.
Contact one of our team members if you have any questions regarding this topic or any others in domestic logistics.
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